The Eclipse of White Christian America

The Eclipse of White Christian America

(Link): The Eclipse of White Christian America

Excerpts:

  • A once powerful demographic group is losing ground in American politics.
  • For most of the country’s history, white Christian America—the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians—set the tone for our national conversations and shaped American ideals. But today, many white Christian Americans feel profoundly anxious as their numbers and influence are waning.
  • ..The key question is not why one white Protestant subgroup is faring worse than another, but why white Protestantism as a whole—arguably the most powerful cultural force in the history of the United States—has faded. The answer is, in part, a matter of powerful demographic changes.

Continue reading “The Eclipse of White Christian America”

Advertisements

The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt

The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt 

Some of the few complementarian Christians I follow on social media did not like this article at all. They seem to find any criticism of their position, or any suggestion of other options for women, to be a great affront to complementarianism itself, or to God or the Bible. Why do they feel their movement is so fragile?

Christian women who reject complementarianism – some of them may go by various labels, such as “Jesus feminists,” or “egalitarians,” or “mutualists,” don’t seek to limit women the way complementarians do. Non-complementarian men and women do not mind if a woman chooses to be a stay at home wife and mother.

However, complementarians do not truly afford all women, and especially not non-complementarian, women this same courtesy.

Much complementarian content will pay “lip service” to respect a woman’s right to choose to work outside the home and so on, but often times, from what I’ve seen, that very same site, or authors on some other complementarian site, will cry and clutch their pearls in sorrow or grief that more and more Christian women are choosing to stay single, not have children, and/or to work outside the home.

Notice that in this article, at one point, complementarian Owen Strachan, who is a spokes-head for complementarian group CBMW, comes right out and says egalitarianism, or any departure from complementarianism, is supposedly a sin.

Egalitarians are all about giving women more choices, telling them to go after their dreams, and doing whatever they feel God has led them to do.

Complementarians really chaff at that. Complementarians want women in boxes. I wrote a much older post saying that (Link): this is one reason of several I really have been struggling with holding on to the Christian faith. I was raised in a Christian family that bought into many of these complementarian ideas, and it’s not something that worked out well for me in my life.

(Link): The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt

Excerpts:

An evangelical Christian and avowed feminist argues that God intends every woman to work.

The final episode of Leave it To Beaver aired in June of 1963, but many conservative Christians still promote a vision of womanhood reminiscent of June Cleaver.  When Tobin Grant, political-science professor at Southern Illinois University, analyzed General Social Survey data from 2006, he found that nearly half of evangelical Christians agreed with this statement: “It is much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family.”

Forty-one percent agreed that “a preschool child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works.” For these evangelicals, a woman’s place in the world is to get married, bear children, and support her breadwinning husband.

Katelyn Beaty—the managing editor of Christianity Today,America’s largest evangelical Christian publication—has set out to change this notion of gender. Her new book, A Woman’s Place, claims to reveal “the surprising truth about why God intends every woman to work.”

This declaration may surprise many of her magazine’s 80,000 print subscribers and 5 million monthly website visitors. And it may also rouse many of her fellow evangelicals who believe her ideas defy the Bible’s clear teaching, if not qualifying as outright heresy. While Beaty knows criticism may be coming her way, she is making a conservative Christian case for working women.

Continue reading “The Conservative, Christian Case for Working Women by J. Merritt”

James Dobson’s Flawed Take on Population Decline (no.1: We’re Not in Decline) by T. Grant

James Dobson’s Flawed Take on Population Decline (no.1: We’re Not in Decline) by T. Grant

As this report notes (link is much farther down this blog page), more pressure is placed on WOMEN to marry and have children than is placed on MEN.

I know that culture and Christians can treat single / celibate / childless men like trash, but they are TEN TIMES worse on Christian WOMEN in these regards.

Women get far more pressured to marry and have kids than men do or ever will.

Women get more shamed and insulted by Christians (and at times, secular culture) for staying single, celibate, and childless than males ever are.

Just because most women are capable of carrying a baby inside them, society and churches think it’s their DUTY to have a baby (as though women serve no other purpose in life), and if they choose to opt out (or cannot have a kid), they are still marginalized or insulted for it.

Men don’t face nearly as much insult or pressure to have kids as women do.

I am right of center – but I agree with this left wing (liberal) guy that other right wingers such as Dobson’s real goal is to be against what he perceives as liberal threats to the church or culture. That is one very real motivator some right wingers have, in why they do things like harass women to have children.

I also want to say how utterly moronic I find this approach by Dobson.

Continue reading “James Dobson’s Flawed Take on Population Decline (no.1: We’re Not in Decline) by T. Grant”

‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister

‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister

(Link): ‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister  by Jia Tolentino

Excerpts:

  • After two months, my [Jia Tolentino’s] copy of Rebecca Traister’s new book is already dog-eared, wine-stained, and train-battered. All the Single Ladies is essential, careful, bold, and rigorous; it’s a warning and a celebration, and I loved it. Traister and I talked on the phone last week.
  • [Rebecca Traister said]… I always hated it when my heroines [book characters] got married.
  • … but I took in the message that Laura learned, and then taught us: that marriage was the end of fun.
  • …one of the interesting things that’s happened coterminously with the decline in marriage rate is the rise of the wedding industrial complex and the fetishization of marriage as the signal achievement of female life.
  • That’s happened even as women have been marrying less and less, and for a couple of reasons.
  • One, the economic strata of women who still most consistently marry are the wealthiest women: you have a whole industry that’s built up around selling them very expensive weddings, and this industry now crosses classes. There’s a diffuse but very strong pressure to correct women’s move away from marriage by fetishizing it.
  • This, in turn, is possible in part because marriage is no longer the thing that kicks off a woman’s adult life.
  • As sociologists put it, marriage is now a capstone event instead. It’s the thing you do when your life is in shape, when you have the right amount of money —and particularly in middle and lower-income communities, when you know you have the right partner, and in many cases, when you already have a kid. Marriage is popularly a sign that your life is in order, which contributes to this renewed positioning of marriage as aspirational.
  • [Jia Tolentino said] Right. It’s the fairytale narrative run through a late-capitalist filter. You make your money, you formalize your ambitions, and then you still get rewarded with the kiss and the ring.
  • [Rebecca Traister said] Despite all this, women are still not marrying at the same rate they were. You can bombard women with messages that they should be aiming for this; that they should be doing that. But you know what? They’re still not doing it. You might be able to make them feel bad about it—but this mass behavior no longer applies.

Continue reading “‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With Rebecca Traister”

The Single American Woman via NY Magazine

The Single American Woman via NY Magazine

Pretty long article, but very interesting.

Please use this link I’m giving you if you’d like to read the entire page (it’s a little bit farther below).

I am a right winger, have been a Republican my whole life (though the GOP has been annoying me more and more the last few years, but no, I am not fine with the Democrats), and I am a single woman who was raised in a Christian home.

My parents were Christians who had very traditional values.

The one thing I dread when reading articles like this one I am linking to in this post is imagining how my fellow right wingers will react to what it discusses.

Typically, rather than help single women where they are (which is what they should be doing), they will more likely, instead, complain and yell about singleness, about what a shame it is people aren’t marrying as much or not as young as they did decades ago, and yell at single women to run right out and get married immediately.

(One thing these types of idiots overlook is that marrying is not that easy. I’ve always wanted to be married, but I never met the right guy. I am not going to marry just any guy with a pulse just for the sake of being married.)

Anyway, following that initial reaction of my fellow right wingers, they will then, at that point – by “they,” I refer more specifically to the conservative marriage concern trolls among the secular right wingers and the conservative Christians – will write fear-mongering articles (like (Link): this one) to scare single women into marrying the first man they meet who has a pulse.

The fear mongering and pressure by conservatives to scare or cajole women to marry has gotten so bad with right wing marriage concern trolls, that some of them are even directing Christian women to marry (Link): known pornography addicts.

The majority of my fellow conservatives don’t give a rat’s ass about doing anything to assist single women so long as those women are single.

Many conservatives would prefer to sit back in their rocking chair on the front porch, sipping on lemonade, smoking on their pipes, complaining about how times have changed for the worst, and how the nation was so much better back in 1952. They would rather pine away for the so-called “good old days” than to help people in practical ways in 2016 where ever they find themselves in life.

Though I am right wing, I think this author makes a few good arguments against conservative views about singleness and marriage and the roles of women.

(Link): The Single American Woman via NY Magazine

Excerpts:

  • The most powerful voter this year, who in her rapidly increasing numbers has become an entirely new category of citizen, is THE SingleAmerican Woman
  • By REBECCA TRAISTER
  • ….In 2009, the proportion of American women who were married dropped below 50 percent. In other words, for the first time in American history, single women (including those who were never married, widowed, divorced, or separated) outnumbered married women.
  • Perhaps even more strikingly, the number of adults younger than 34 who had never married was up to 46 percent, rising 12 percentage points in less than a decade. For women under 30, the likelihood of being married has become astonishingly small: Today, only around 20 percent of Americans ages 18–29 are wed, compared to nearly 60 percent in 1960.
  • It is a radical upheaval, a national reckoning with massive social and political implications. Across classes, and races, we are seeing a wholesale revision of what female life might entail.
  • We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood as a norm, not an aberration, and the creation of an entirely new population: adult women who are no longer economically, socially, sexually, or reproductively dependent on or defined by the men they marry.
  • This reorganization of our citizenry, unlike the social movements that preceded it and made it possible — from abolition and suffrage and labor fights of the 19th and early-20th centuries to the civil-rights, women’s, and gay-rights movements of the mid-20th century — is not a self-consciously politicized event. Today’s women are, for the most part, not abstaining from or delaying marriage to prove a point about equality.
  • They are doing it because they have internalized assumptions that just a half-century ago would have seemed radical: that it’s okay for them not to be married; that they are whole people able to live full professional, economic, social, sexual, and parental lives on their own if they don’t happen to meet a person to whom they want to legally bind themselves.
  • The most radical of feminist ideas—the disestablishment of marriage — has been so widely embraced as to have become habit, drained of its political intent but ever-more potent insofar as it has refashioned the course of average female life.

Continue reading “The Single American Woman via NY Magazine”

Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

I am right wing, somewhat Christian, and believe that many Christians and secular conservatives have made the nuclear family and marriage into idols, which is wrong.

I am not opposed out-right to the traditional family, marriage, or to motherhood, and so forth, in and of themselves, but I am in disagreement at how so many right wingers and Christians elevate all those things to the point that they end up marginalizing anyone who does not fit the mould of “married with children.”

Anyone who is infertile, child free, divorced, never married, widowed, and what have you, is excluded or treated shabbily by the majority of “family values” obsessed right wingers and Christians, which again, in my view, is terribly wrong and unfair.

Here is an article explaining how and why the religious right elevated “the family” in their rhetoric:

(Link): Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why Religious Liberty has Replaced It) by E C Miller

Excerpts:

  • From about 1970 until about 2000, American politics was largely driven by concern about the nuclear family. As established social hierarchies came under fire from the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, second-wave feminism, and others, conservative advocacy groups and their political allies demanded a return to the idealized family of the past. “Family values” became the rallying cry of a countermovement bent on holding the traditional line.
  • Seth Dowland is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University. His book, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right, charts the influence of Christian “family values” advocacy across three decades and a variety of issues.
  • RD’s Eric C. Miller spoke with Dowland about the project, the politics, and the significance of family in the United States.
  • You introduce “family values” as the key term of the Christian Right in the late twentieth-century United States. Why was this term so influential for this group in this place and time? 
  • Many of the political reforms enacted from the 1930s through the 1960s—particularly the expansion of the welfare state and the passage of civil rights legislation—attempted to expand equal rights to all people.
  • Political liberals celebrated these developments, while conservatives looked around the nation at the beginning of the 1970s and saw economic stagnation, riots, sexual revolution, a decline in patriotism, and an increase in crime and drug use. Ministers and political conservatives argued that America was in decline. They believed that decline happened because of the demise of the “traditional family.”

Continue reading “Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller”

Why Are Young Moms Becoming Rarer? (article)

Why Are Young Moms Becoming Rarer?

(Link): Why Are Young Moms Becoming Rarer?

  • BY MADALINE DONNELLY
  • 5/30/15 AT 4:35 PM
  • But what, if anything, do these changing norms mean for those couples that still choose to start families young? For society at large?

    A Storm of Issues

    There are so many factors potentially at work today discouraging young people from having children that it’s hard to know for sure what’s really behind the dip in America’s birth rate—or to blame for people holding off.

  • Between the Great Recession, the necessity of a college education (and, therefore, the magnitude of student loan debt in the U.S.), the price of homeownership and delayed marriage due to social or financial reasons, it seems more a storm of inhibiting issues than an identifiable trend.

Continue reading “Why Are Young Moms Becoming Rarer? (article)”